Weekend Preview 22/09/17

Highlights

English Premier League
West Ham Utd vs Tottenham (Saturday 12:30pm)
Sky Sports Premier League
Tottenham have had a tough time at Wembley and at the minute have been finding away points easier to come by but coming up against a motivated and improving West Ham side will give them a real test. The edge of a London derby always adds extra incentive for both sides.

Team news is positive for both teams, with West Ham having an almost full strength side available, with Noble struggling to get back into a team that has been performing much better in the last 3 games – though an injury to Obiang means he could be brought back in. Tottenham are also close to full strength with only Wanyama and Rose missing and several managers choice decisions on who to include.

The Asian Handicap line is set relatively high for Tottenham but fair 2 goal wins in their previous 2 away games means this is reasonable. West Ham’s move to a 3-4-2-1 has meant they have been much tougher to break down and it’s here that there may be slight value with both sides keeping back to back clean sheets and likely to be wary of opening up too much.

Suggestion: Under 2.75 Goals @ 2.030

Spain Primera Liga

Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla (Saturday 12:00pm)
Sky Sports Mix
Sevilla have made an excellent start to the season and currently sit in 2nd place, having taken maximum points and kept clean sheets in all but one of their league games this season. Atletico Madrid started a little slower but have improved after a surprise draw with Girona and know a win means they will go above their opponents.

Atletico’s positive news continued this week with the agreement for Diego Costa to return to the club in January. They also have a full strength side available after Filipe Luis recovered from a minor knock and will push to attack and win this game. Sevilla are without Nolito but otherwise have a healthy squad, with Pizarro the other minor doubt but he should be fit and start.

Sevilla know full well a point would be a good result and will aim to keep the game tight for as long as possible. Atletico Madrid are very good at avoiding frustration against defensive opponents and know how to grind out a win but if Sevilla do manage to go ahead it places even more value on getting at least a push on the Asian Handicap line.

Suggestion: Sevilla +1 @ 1.854

Germany Bundesliga
Hoffenheim vs Schalke (Saturday 2:30pm)
Not on TV
Hoffenheim continue to show excellent domestic form despite their early exit from the Champions League and opening Match Round defeat in the Europa League. Beating Bayern Munich just 2 weeks ago shows they are a team to be taken seriously. After a terrible start at the beginning of 2016/17 Schalke have shown considerable improvement over the past 9 months and are likely to challenge for European places again this season.

With Schalke’s busy schedule – they face a trip to Bulgaria in midweek to face Ludogorets – they have used some rotation in the past couple of games. This means a few players have been rested and it’s unlikely they will have a genuine strongest team out. Schalke on the other hand should have almost a full strength side available, with Konoplyanka expected to regain his place after dropping to the bench in midweek.

With European commitments in their mind and the improvement Schalke have made this is not an easy game for Hoffenheim. They have been a little lucky to gain the results they have so far, while Schalke have been good but could have done even better. This will be a tight game and the value appears to be on Schalke to get something from it.

Suggestion: Schalke +0.25 @ 2.000

 

Ones to Watch

England Championship
Sheffield Wednesday vs Sheffield United (Sunday 1:15pm)
Sky Sports Football
After 5 years, the Steel City derby returns with both sides wanting to claim bragging rights. Sheffield United have started well while Sheffield Wednesday have traditionally been slow to start under Carlos Carvalhal. The key factor for this game could be who Sheffield United have available up front as a striker crisis saw Sharp, Donaldson and Clarke join Lavery and Hanson on the sidelines. All 3 will be expected to shake off minor knocks to play in this one, though may not be fully fit. The game will be tight with neither team likely to truly open up and both would accept the narrowest of wins.

Suggestion: Under 2.25 Goals @ 1.877

Scotland Premiership
Rangers vs Celtic (Saturday 12:00pm)
Sky Sports Football
Another huge derby with both sides needing little motivation. Rangers have improved under Pedro Caixinha but will be fully aware they have not beaten Celtic outright since March 2012. Under Brendan Rodgers Celtic are an unstoppable force but will also have one eye on the midweek Champions League tie with Anderlecht, where they need a win to have a good chance of finishing at least 3rd. Both sides have mixed team news and while Celtic are the stronger side there is debate about whether they would settle for a smaller margin of victory in order to conserve energy for midweek.

Suggestion: Celtic -0.75 @ 2.000

Italy Serie A
Juventus vs Torino (Saturday 7:45pm)
BT Sport 3
Our third ‘One to Watch’ derby sees these two rivals from Turin face off against each other. Juventus are the dominant force in Italy, winning all 5 of their matches so far with ease. Torino have also started well, are unbeaten and could make a push for the European spots this season. Both teams rotated for their midweek games and will bring first choice players back in to strengthen their sides and the -1.25 Asian Handicap line on Juventus seems appropriate. Both will want to win this game and while the goals line is quite high, previous games this season suggest that they are both capable of causing problems, with 7 of their 10 games between them having at least 3 goals. If Torino score first it certainly improves the chances of this as Juventus will play to win, so the game should open up.

Suggestion: Over 3 goals @ 2.020

Greece Super League
AEK Athens vs Olympiakos (Sunday 6:30pm)
Not on TV
For the first time in what seems like years, Olympiakos are not favourites for a game. After drawing to unfancied opposition in their last 2 league games and defeat against Sporting in the Champions League they find themselves 2nd in the table with Hasi under immediate threat of the sack if they lose this one. That means they will aim to play a very tight game, as Greek matches usually are, and it’s likely to be a solitary goal that wins it. The pressure is more on AEK Athens and that could suit what is still a very good and underperforming Olympiakos team.

Suggestion: Olympiakos +0.25 @ 1.909

 

*Odds accurate at time of writing

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